The Nissan NP300 Navara was unveiled in Thailand early last month, which gave us the bulk of information about what Nissan’s next-generation one-tonne pickup truck is all about. However, it turns out most of the information was related to the Thai market.

Thanks to information provided at a media test drive that happened in Thailand this week, we now have new details on the Nissan NP300 Navara that could be relevant to our market. Our man Jonathan Lee will be publishing his first impressions of the new Navara very soon, but first here’s what we learned at the event.

First of all, the YD25 2.5 litre turbodiesel engine that was unveiled at the Thai launch will be the engine that will be used for markets with fuel grades below Euro 4, including Malaysia. The YD25 has been improved over the unit in the outgoing Navara, with an upgraded cylinder head. Fuel economy is said to have been improved by as much as 11%.

navara-engines

The YD25 will be available in two states of tune – a low output spec with 160 hp and 403 Nm of torque, as well as the higher output version dispensing the full 188 hp and 450 Nm of torque.

What we won’t get is a new 2.3 litre YS23 engine, derived from the 2.3 dCi engine in the Renault Master van, that’s reserved for markets where Euro 5 fuel is available. As with the YD25, two versions of the YS23 will be offered – a fixed geometry turbo version that produces 158 hp and 403 Nm of torque, and a more powerful variable geometry turbo version that does the same 188 hp and 450 Nm of torque as the top YD25 mill.

Despite the smaller displacement, the variable geometry turbocharger allows for the 450 Nm peak to come in earlier at 1,500-2,000 rpm compared to the 2,000 rpm of the YD25. Fuel consumption for the YS23 engine is said to have improved by 19% over the older YD25 thanks to reduced engine friction, an electrical variable oil pump and a thermo management system.

navara-dimensions

The big Renault-sourced 228 hp, 550 Nm 3.0 litre turbodiesel V6 – never available in Malaysia – is now gone as the engine was unable to comply with the stringent emissions regulations in countries where it was previously offered. With 450 Nm being the range-topping torque figure, the Navara won’t be the most powerful pick-up around as it loses out to the larger engines in the Chevrolet Colorado, Mazda BT-50 and Ford Ranger.

The good news is the Jatco seven-speed automatic transmission seems to be standard across the board and all markets. The expanded amount of ratios should both improve fuel efficiency as well as acceleration. For those who opt for a manual transmission, you’ll get a six-speeder with wider ratios than before.

An interesting bit about the chassis – the Navara will be fitted with five-link rear suspension with coil springs instead of the usual leaf springs. Such a setup is more commonly used on truck-based SUVs such as the Toyota Fortuner and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, and should provide for better ride and handling. The only pickup truck with such a design in Malaysia right now is the Ssangyong Actyon – the rest of the segment stick with a leaf spring design.

navara-suspension

The Thai-market Navara will continue with a leaf spring setup due to tax reasons – the truck will be classified as a passenger car if it employs coil spring rear suspension, thus raising the taxes that need to be paid on it. As far as we know, there’s no such restriction in Malaysia, thus the availability of the Actyon we mentioned.

The Navara will also be available with LED headlamps, LED daytime running lights, rear air conditioning vents, a a 3D colour multi-info display in the instrument panel, but the availability of these features may be market specific depending on what each individual country specs for the variants they have on sale.

For more information on the new truck, read our Navara global unveiling story from June 2014, and stay tuned for Jonathan Lee’s test drive impressions. You can also refresh your memory on the outgoing Nissan Navara D40 that’s still sold in Malaysia at CarBase.my.